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Predicting Financial Distress and the Performance of Distressed Stocks

Author

Listed:
  • Hilscher, Jens Dietrich
  • Campbell, John Y.
  • Szilagyi, Jan

Abstract

In this paper, we consider the measurement and pricing of distress risk.We present a model of corporate failure in which accounting and market-based measures forecast the likelihood of future financial distress. Our best model is more accurate than leading alternative measures of corporate failure risk.We use our measure of financial distress to examine the performance of distressed stocks from 1981 to 2008. We find that distressed stocks have high stock return volatility and high market betas and that they tend to underperform safe stocks by more at times of high market volatility and risk aversion. However, investors in distressed stocks have not been rewarded for bearing these risks. Instead, distressed stocks have had very low returns, both relative to the market and after adjusting for their high risk. The underperformance of distressed stocks is present in all size and value quintiles. It is lower for stocks with low analyst coverage and institutional holdings, which suggests that information or arbitrage-related frictions may be partly responsible for the underperformance of distressed stocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Hilscher, Jens Dietrich & Campbell, John Y. & Szilagyi, Jan, 2011. "Predicting Financial Distress and the Performance of Distressed Stocks," Scholarly Articles 9887619, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:9887619
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuo, Su-Wen & Huang, Chin-Sheng & Jhang, Guan-Cih, 2015. "Liquidity, delistings, and credit risk premium," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 78-89.
    2. Carvalho, Carlos & Klagge, Nicholas & Moench, Emanuel, 2011. "The persistent effects of a false news shock," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 597-615, September.
    3. Colin Ellis, 2014. "Break-even maturity as a guide to financial distress," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 8(4), December.
    4. Macias, Antonio & Pirinsky, Christo, 2015. "Employees and the market for corporate control," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 33-53.
    5. Singh, Manish K. & Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2015. "Bank risk behavior and connectedness in EMU countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 161-184.
    6. Xu, Xin, 2013. "Forecasting Bankruptcy with Incomplete Information," MPRA Paper 55024, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 Mar 2014.
    7. Marta Gómez-Puig & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero & Manish K. Singh, 2018. "“Incorporating creditors' seniority into contingent claim models:Application to peripheral euro area countries”," IREA Working Papers 201803, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Feb 2018.
    8. Grout, Paul A. & Zalewska, Anna, 2016. "Stock market risk in the financial crisis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 326-345.
    9. Marek Gruszczynski, 2015. "Issues in modelling the financial distress and bankruptcy of companies," Applied Econometrics Papers, Department of Applied Econometrics, Warsaw School of Economics, vol. 2(1), pages 1-9.
    10. repec:pal:assmgt:v:17:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1057_jam.2016.15 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Manish K. Singh & Marta Gómez-Puig & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero, 2014. "Forward looking banking stress in EMU countries," Working Papers 14-10, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.

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